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ECU Health is relaxing universal masking guidelines for healthy patients, visitors and team members effective Monday.

The health system said today that to “reflect current infectious disease rates in our communities and hospitals, Eastern North Carolina, along with the rest of the state, has seen a steady decline in infectious virus hospitalizations and positive cases in the community. This, combined with widespread levels of immunity due to vaccines, boosters and natural immunity, has led to a lower risk of spread in the healthcare setting.”  

While masking will be optional for healthy patients, visitors and team members at all ECU Health facilities, including ECU Health Physicians clinics, patients may request their specific care team to wear a mask while providing direct care. 

Additionally, ECU Health will continue to mask for certain patients, particularly for those who have an infectious virus or who are immuno-compromised. 

To continue to mitigate the spread of infectious viruses, ECU Health will require masking for those who feel sick or have symptoms of an infectious virus: fever, cough and runny nose.

Visitors who choose to wear a mask or are required to wear a mask should use surgical masks or N95/KN95 masks as long as they are clean, intact, without a valve and have no visible gaps. Masks will remain available upon entry at ECU Health facilities for those who choose to wear a mask or must wear a mask.

ECU Health continues to monitor infectious virus rates across the state and in eastern North Carolina to best protect team members and those we serve. The new masking guidelines will remain in effect for as long as infectious diseases are low in our community and pose minimal risk. ECU Health’s masking guidance may be adjusted as needed based on the prevalence of infectious viruses in the region, including reinstating universal masking, in the event of a significant surge or new infectious disease.